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Nets winning despite Deron Williams struggling with his shot

Dec 3, 2012, 1:12 PM EDT

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets are playing well — 11-5 on the season, a defense that is better than expected (11th in the league) and a signature win over the Knicks at home.

But Deron Williams is not playing well, or at least not as well as he expected. He’s averaging 16.8 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting. The Nets offense has been good but could be phenomenal if Williams got his numbers and play back up to what we remember from Utah.

Williams is playing through a sprained wrist and is frustrated, he told the New York Times.

“It’s not my wrist, man, it’s my confidence,” Williams said in a reflective moment, after finishing with 10 points and a 3-for-11 shooting performance. “I just got to play better. Injuries or not, I got to play. I can’t keep having 10 points, not being aggressive. I just got to find a rhythm. It’s just tough.”

It’s not just one area that is hurting Williams — he is getting one-in-five of his shot attempts (20.6 percent of them) in isolation and is shooting just 32.5 percent in that setting. He is shooting just 34.1 percent when coming off a screen. As the pick-and-roll ball handler he is shooting 4-of-15 from three (stats via Synergy Sports). He’s not just missing one kind of shot, he’s missing them all.

What might worry Nets fans is these numbers from Williams are pretty much in line with what he has done since leaving Utah. He shot just 40.8 percent all of last season, his true shooting percentage (which counts in threes and free throws to make a points per possession like stat) is 53.1 percent this year and was 52.8 last season. In Utah his last season he shot 45.8 percent overall and his true shooting percentage was 58.8 percent. The drop is pretty steep.

It’s a long season and we are just 15 games in. Williams has a lot of time to get his wrist right, time for his shooting rhythm to come back. The Nets are doing pretty well without it now, but if you start to think about the long grind of the season or the playoffs, they are going to need more from D-Will to get where they want to go.

  1. totallyuselessme - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Everybody has little bumps in the road here and there. Deron’s been playing at a top level throughout his career, and I have little doubt he’ll return to form eventually.

    That the Nets aren’t playing at their highest possible level yet is actually promising. If they can get it right by playoff time, that’s all that’s going to matter.

    At this point, the Nets are the only team I can realy picture giving the Heat any competition in the East. Deron can hang with Wade. Joe can’t hang with LeBron, but Brook and Hump I think I’ll take over Bosh and (?).

    The issue aside from that, though, is Ray Allen. At this point if the game’s within a couple 3s in the 4th quarter, Ray’s proving just about every week that he’ll nail those shots and that’s rightfully got the rest of the league rubbing their foreheads about what the hell they can do to stop it.

    • letangusespertplus - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      reggie evans can guard lebron. they’ll flop each other into an irrelevant matchup.

  2. paulwoodsby - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    Williams is SO over-rated. He doesn’t belong on the list of elites.

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